Freelance Writing: Everything You Need to Know

abumurad By abumurad, 4th Nov 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
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Review of More than Any Human Being Needs to Know about Freelance Writing by Jenna Glatzer

Freelancer Guide

Jenna Glatzer has assembled a workbook that every aspiring freelancer should read. She tells you how to get started, how to keep on track, and how to go full-time. She doesn't sugarcoat things, either, but gives a good picture of what freelancing is like today. Rather than focusing on articles, she takes the same approach as Sandra Louden: variety is the only way to succeed.

"You name it, I've written it. Columns, reviews, features, profiles, interviews, essays, brochures, ad copy -- whatever they'll pay me for. I'm your basic freelancing Jill-of-all-trades."

More than Any Human ... is a workbook, designed to be printed out so you can work through the exercises and fill in the worksheets.

The first questions Glatzer asks is the Big One: "Am I good at organizing and communicating my thoughts through coherent short writing?" If your answer to this is ‘no,' then Glatzer suggests you stop reading immediately. The hard truth is, while the rest can be learned, she says, this is one ability that's an absolute necessity. I'm not sure I agree with her assertion. I firmly believe that most people can learn the basic craft of writing, but without drive Craft will never become Art.

Glatzer takes you from the very first step of determining whether you're suited to the freelance life, and walks you through the process in small, easy steps.

Coming up with the Big Idea
Finding the right market
Looking like a business
Making simultaneous submissions the right way
Dealing with rejection
Negotiating sales and contracts
Editing your work
Recycling your ideas
Branching out into other markets

If you want to succeed as a freelance writer, Glatzer contends that you must look like a successful business, rather than a desperate artist. What does this entail? "Well, if you're thinking about Cash, then everything associated with your name must be nothing less than 100% Clean, Clear, Crisp, Commercially viable, and Company-minded."

Regarding query letters, Glatzer has a handy checklist of items to include, and a format you can copy. She also tell you what NOT to do. Common pitfalls: overselling, being tentative, not targeting.

One of her best pieces of advice is to re-slant and re-sell. "Re-slanting an article is easy, since you've already done the bulk of the research. Scrounge up a few new quotes, and use the information you left out of the first article." If you're worried about rights, she also has advice there. And, in today's market, you can't afford not to re-sell:

"Let's say that most small publications will pay you $100 for an 800-word article. How many articles would you have to write to earn a decent living? One a day? Every day?"

Unfortunately, many small magazines don't pay even $100 per article. When I first started writing for one regional magazine, I made $35 for an 800 word article. Their rate has probably gone up since then, but I'm sure it's nowhere near $100.

If you don't believe you can make a living writing articles, or you're just starting out and want a steady source of income, Glatzer also has suggestions there: write for businesses, press releases, ghostwriting, greeting cards and captions, and other markets. She has a number of forms and exercises to get you started in these lesser-known fields.

Jenna Glatzer is no cheerleader, though. She offers a good, hard look at the freelancing life. And she recognizes that, for most of us, there is no choice. We are writers, and we must make a living at our chosen career one way or another.

Glatzer offers solid advice and plenty of worksheets to get you started in a freelance career. This book isn't only for beginners, though. If you're looking to increase your income or break into bigger markets, Glatzer can help there, too. As an added bonus, her sheets for tracking ideas, queries, submissions and sales are a boon to any disorganized writer. In fact, Glatzer recommends printing out all 184 pages, though you may just want to settle for printing the worksheets and tracking forms.

I highly recommend this book. You can order it from The book is $12.95, in PDF format.


Book Of Life, Book Review, Book Reviews, Book Writing

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author avatar abumurad
I am freelance writer specializing in financial topics and political commentary, gardening and ecology, psychology, and paranormal and New Age topics. My non-writing professional experience includes s

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